The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.

Medina Township asking for more coverage from Hudson 7.1.09

Written by David Green.

A fire protection contract expired Tuesday between the Morenci Fire Department and Medina Township, but that doesn’t mean fire trucks won’t respond if a call comes in.

“I want to be clear that there’s still going to be fire protection regardless,” said township supervisor Jim Craig. “I talked with [fire chief] Chad Schisler and if the need is there, they’ll respond.”

The thing Craig can’t be clear about is how negotiations between Morenci and Medina are going to turn out.

Morenci Fire Department is seeking a 10 percent increase in the cost of fire services—an annual increase of $1,946—the first rate increase since 2003.

The township board countered that offer by suggesting that if there’s a 10 percent increase, then the township should be allowed to bill insurance companies for fire calls and apply those payments to the city’s fees.

Council debated the request at the June 8 meeting, but in the end declined to alter the contract.

This prompted Medina officials to contact the Hudson Fire Department to see if there was interest in increasing their coverage to about half of the township, since that department’s charge is less than Morenci’s.

Craig estimates Hudson’s current coverage at about a third of the township. Morenci and Waldron fill in the remainder of the coverage area.

“The only way that we would ask Hudson to cover the entire township is if the City of Morenci is unwilling to negotiate,” Craig said. “We don’t want to end our relationship with Morenci. We just want them to negotiate with us.”

Craig said the township should be allowed to bill insurance companies for calls.

“That should be our decision, not theirs,” he said.

Craig said an addendum to the contract was added in 2004 that gave the city the right to keep insurance payments in lieu of increasing the contract rate.

Morenci administrator/city clerk Renée Schroeder said insurance payments came in  for one Medina Township call in 2008 totaling $691 and from three in 2007 totaling $2,252.

Craig is hoping for some flexibility from city council and a rapid resolution of the issue.

Craig expects the expansion in coverage by Hudson to include ambulance service, also, rather than sending fire vehicles from one city and rescue from another.

Morenci response:

With the Medina Township fire contract due to expire at midnight June 30, Morenci city council met in a special 7:30 a.m. session Tuesday to discuss the issue.
The following motion was accepted 4-0, with Greg Braun, Jason Cook and Art Erbskorn unable to attend.
    Pennington moved and Schell seconded that the City of Morenci will continue to provide fire protection service and operate month-to-month if Medina Township pays monthly based on the current proposed contract while the township checks their options and the city checks their legal and moral obligations under state laws and mutual aid agreements.   Payments due on the 15th of each month in the amount of $1,783.83, first payment being due July 15, 2009.  All votes yea, motion carried.

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